Since retail refrigeration executives need to be on call 24/7, it probably wasn't too much of a strain for them to attend this morning's 7 am breakfast presentation of GreenChill's Annual Environmental Achievement Awards. For reporters, 7 am is a bit more of a stretch, though I personally don't mind. GreenChill, of course, is the Environmental Protection Agency's remarkable voluntary program that helps participating food retailers to save a great deal of money while helping the envrionment by cutting down on those nasty refrigerant leaks.
Keilly Witman, manager of GreenChill who in four years has single-handedly built the program into one that encompasses more than 7,300 supermarkets, presented the awards. While not as glamorous as last night's Emmys, the GreenChill awards recognize some tremendous work being done by food retailers. For a complete rundown of the winners, see my online article here.
I want to specifically congratulate Sprouts Farmers Market and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market for each coming away with two awards. Sprout's won the prestigous Best Emissions Rate award for getting its leak rate down to 6.5%. Before GreenChill, nobody thought supermarkets could get their leak rate under 10%, since the average is around 25%. But there are now six retailers who have their leak rates at 10% or lower, Witman said.